Jalandhar, October 25(STN): The 40th Indian Oil Surjit Hockey Tournament, one of major sporting event, started on rousing note with Local Bodies Minister Balkar Singh on Wednesday inaugurated the 10-day long championship at Surjit Hockey Stadium, Burlton park.
In his address, the Minister said that the state government was committed for taking sports to new heights in the Punjab so that it can become a leader in the country. He said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led government had already making sincere efforts to create sports environment in the state by holding Kheda Watan Punjab Diyan, enhanced cash awards for medal winners, hiked salaries for coaches, new recruitment of staff and others to boost sports and sportsmen in the state besides ensuring their holistic development.
Complementing the organizers for holding the tournament, the Minister said that they had upheld the legacy of great olympian Surjit Singh alive. He said that the organizers had laid the foundation of a great movement aimed at revival of the national game. He also lauded the role of organizing committee for holding this event every year thereby acting as a nursery for producing the legends in field of hockey.
Declaring the event open, the Cabinet Minister hoped that this tournament had played a vital role in making Punjab a healthy, progressive and prosperous state. He also thanked the sports lovers for converging at the stadium for witnessing this gala event.
On the demand of society, the minister also announced that new flood lights will be installed immediately after the tournament.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Vishesh Sarangal who is also president of Surjit Hockey Society expressed hope that this tournament would offer an opportunity to the players to exhibit their talent and skills besides further promoting national game among the youths. He said that 16 teams were participating in this tournament and Final match will be held on November 3. He also thanked sponsors of the event for their wholeheartedly support.
Deputy commissioner also informed that famous winger Babbu Mann will also enthrall the audience on November 3 before the final match to be played .
After the inauguration of tournament , opening match was played between Indian Navy and FCI.
A song dedicated to promote the hockey was also released during the opening ceremony.
On the occasion, DGM Indian Oil Rajan Beri and representatives of Surjit Hockey Society were also present.